ISTANBUL/LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport has registered appeals from Turkish giants Fenerbahce and Besiktas against their bans from UEFA club competitions.
The Super Lig clubs’ actions come after they had their appeals against the bans rejected by UEFA’s Appeals Body on Monday.
Both Istanbul clubs were connected with match-fixing scandals in domestic tournaments in 2011, and Fenerbahce was excluded by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) from participating in the Champions League in the 2011-12 season.
Last month, Fenerbahce was banned from European competitions by UEFA for two seasons, from 2013-14 to 2014-15. The UEFA control and disciplinary body confirmed Fenerbahce’s ban would actually run for three seasons in total, with the third deferred for a probationary period of five years. Besiktas was banned from European competition for the coming season.
The two clubs appealed but UEFA on Monday confirmed that Fenerbahçe will be excluded from participating in the next two competitions for which they would qualify, including the 2013-14 Champions League. Beşiktaş is not eligible to participate in the 2013-14 Europa League. However, Fenerbahce was partially successful in its appeal with UEFA removing the deferred third-year ban.
Fenerbahce has sent UEFA a letter on behalf of its players, protesting what is now its second Champions League ban within three seasons. Together with its appeal to CAS, the club has also filed a request for a stay of the challenged decision.
In July 2012, Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim was among 93 defendants, including club executives and players, convicted in the major match-fixing case, which first emerged 12 months previously. Yildirim’s sentencing came just weeks after Fenerbahce was cleared to return to the Champions League in 2012-13.
The Istanbul giant was removed from the 2011-12 Champions League by the TFF as the investigation into the match-fixing scandal stepped into action. The investigation centred on allegations of match-fixing during first and second division matches in the 2010-11 season. The TFF cleared 16 clubs and dozens of suspects in May 2012, but issued eight club officials and two players with suspensions ranging from one to three years.
Fenerbahce won the Super Lig title in 2010-11 after a remarkable end-of-season run of form saw Trabzonspor edged out on goal difference. Besiktas lifted the Turkish Cup after beating Buyuksehir in a penalty shoot-out. Reports at the time indicated that Besiktas’ cup final victory was one of 19 games highlighted in the investigation, along with Fenerbahce’s title-clinching 4-3 victory over Sivasspor on the final day of the season.
Fenerbahce also took the TFF and UEFA to CAS over its exclusion from 2011-12 Champions League, but was unsuccessful in its appeal.
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